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1452 [1452]

K. Henry. 8. The kinges Oration with notes. Doct. Crome. Anne Askew.

And although you be permitted to reade holy scritpure, MarginaliaHow are they permitted to read Gods worde, whē none is permitted to read it vnder the degree of a gentleman?and to haue the worde of God in your mother tounge, you must vnderstand that it is licenced you so to do, onelye to informe your own conscience, and to instruct your chyldren and family, and not to dispute and make scripture a rayling and a tauntyng stocke, against Priests and Preachers, as many light persons doo. I am very sorye to know and heare how vnreuerētly that most precious Iewell the worde of God is disputed, rymed, Marginalia* S. Hierome wisheth the Scriptures not onely to be read of all men, but also to bee songe of women at their rockes, of plowmē at the plow, of Weuers at their loome. &c.* songe, and iangled in euery Alehouse and Tauerne, contrary to the true meaning and doctrine of the same. And yet I am euen as much sorye, that the Readers of the same folow it in doyng so faintly and coldly. For of this I am sure, that Charitie was neuer so faynt amongst you, and vertuous and Marginalia* Godly liuing though it encrease not with the Gospell so much as we wishe: yet the defecte therof is not to be imputed to the Gospel. And yet if we well compare time with time, we shall finde by vewing the bokes of the olde Wardmote Questes, of whores and baudes and wiced liuers, x. presented to one now, besides priestes and the common stues.* godly lyuyng was neuer lesse vsed, nor God him selfe amōgest Christians was neuer lesse reuerenced, honored or serued. Therefore as I said before, be in charitie one with an other, like brother & brother. Loue, dread, and serue God (to the which I as your supreme heade, and soueraigne Lord, exhort and require you) and then I doubt not, but that loue and league that I spake of in the beginning, shall neuer bee dissolued or broken betwene vs. And as touching the lawes, which be now made and concluded, I exhort you the makers, to be as diligent in putting them in execution, as you were in making and furthering the same, or els your labour shall bee in vayne, and your common wealth nothing relieued.

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¶ Notes vpon the foresayd exhortation.

MarginaliaThe kings Oration expended, with notes vpon the same.PRinces which exhorte 

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Foxe added this criticism of Henry's oration, in effect declaring that reform of the Church should be accomplished even at the price of controversy and discord, as an injunction to Elizabeth and her ministers to proceed with a complete reformation of the English Church.

to concorde and charitie, do well: but Princes which seeke out the causes of discorde & reforme the same, do much better. The Papiste and Protestant, Hereticke, and Pharisey, the olde Mumsimus, and the newe Sumpsimus be termes of variance and dissension, and bee (I graunt) Symptomata of a sore wounde in the cōmon wealth but he that will amend this wound, must first begin to search out the causes, and purge the occasion therof: otherwise to cure the sore outwardly, which inwardly doth fester & rācle still, it is but vayne.

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The roote and grounde of all this greuaunce riseth hereof: The Prelates and Clergy of Rome, sekyng, as it semeth, altogether after riches, pompe, and honour of this worlde, to mainteyne the same vnder pretense of Religion, do in very dede subuert Religion: vnder the title of the Churche, they bryng into the Churche manifest errours and absurdities intolerable, who pretendyng to be fathers of the Churche, if they transgressed but in maners and lightnes of lyfe, or negligence of gouernement, they might bee borne withall for peace and concorde sake, and here modesty, ciuilitie, quietnes, vnitie and charitie might haue place amongest modest natures. But now they obscure the glory of the sonne of God, whiche in no case ought to be suffered: they extinct the light and grace of the Gospell: they clogge mens consciēces: they set vp Idolatrie and maintayne Idoles: they bryng in false inuocation: they restraine lawfull motrimonie, wherby groweth filthy pollutiō, adultery, and whoredome in the church vnspeakable: they corrupt the sacraments: they wrast the Scripture to worldly purposes: they kill and persecute Gods people: briefly, their doctrine is damnable: their lawes be impious: their doynges are detestable. And yet after all this, they crepe craftely into the hartes of Princes vnder the title of the Church and colour of concorde, makyng Kynges and Princes beleue, that all be heretickes and schismatikes, whiche will not be subiect to their ordinary power.

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Now almightie God, who is a ielous God, and not sufferyng the glory of his sonne to be defaced, nor his truth to be troden vnder foote, stirreth vp agyne the hartes of his people to vnderstand his truth and to defende his cause. Wherupon of these ij. partes, as ij. mightie flyntes thus smityng together, commeth out the sparcle of this diuision, whiche by no wise cā be quenched, but that one part must nedes yelde & gyue ouer. There is no neutralitie, nor mediatiō of peace, nor exhortation to agreemēt that will serue betwene these two contrary doctrines, but either the Popes errours must gyue place to Gods worde, or els the veritye of God must gyue place vnto them.

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Wherefore, as the good intent and plausible Oration of the king in this behalf, was not to be discōmended in exhortyng his subiectes to charitie: so had he much more deserued commendation if he had sought the right way to worke charitie, and to helpe innocencie amongest his subiectes, by takyng away the impious law of the vj. Articles, the mother of all diuision and mansloughter. For what is thys to the purpose, to exhorte in wordes neuer so much to charitie, and in dede to gyue a knife to the murtherers hand, to runne vpon hys naked brother, whiche neyther in conscience can leaue hys cause, nor yet hath power to defende hym selfe? As by experience here foloweth to be sene, what charitie ensued after this exhortation of the kyng to charitie, by the rackyng and burnyng of good Anne Askevv, with iij. other poore subiectes of the kyng, within halfe a yeare after: wherof shortly you shall heare more declared.

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When these Chauntreis & Colledges thus by Acte of Parlament were giuen into the kynges handes, as is aboue remembred: whiche was about the moneth of December an. 1545. the next Lent folowyng Doct. Crome 

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Anne Askew

In the second and later English editions of the Acts and Monuments (1570, 1576, 1583), Foxe introduces Anne Askew's story of examination and martyrdom with a reference to the troubles of Dr Edward Crome, rector of St Mary Aldermary parish church, who publicly recanted his evangelical views three times during Henry VIII's reign, and likely recanted them again during Mary Tudor's reign as well (see Susan Wabuda, 'Equivocation and Recantation during the English Reformation: The "Subtle Shadows" of Dr Edward Crome', Journal of Ecclesiastical History 44 [1993], 224-42). But Crome's submission does more than serve as the point of contrast to Askew's experience (and bravery) offered by Foxe; Crome's sermon at Mercer's Chapel mentioned by Foxe (in which he denied the sacrificial nature of the Mass) sparked the 'purge' of London evangelicals that took place during the summer of 1546, providing the context for Askew's burning with three companions in the fire (including John Lascelles, a gentleman of the king's Privy Chambre), as well as for the recantations of Crome himself and Nicholas Shaxton (formerly Bishop of Salisbury), and the interrogations of Hugh Latimer (formerly Bishop of Gloucester) and George Blage, another of the king's servants. (For Crome's importance, and the significance of his sermon at Mercer's Chapel in particular, see Alec Ryrie, The Gospel and Henry VIII: Evangelicals in the Early Reformation [Cambridge, 2003], pp 53-4, 142.) And if the story following Askew's in the Acts and Monuments, of Gardiner and Wriothesley's attempt to bring down Catherine Parr is to be believed, we should also see Crome's sermon (which so angered the king) as providing an opportune moment for their conspiracy against the queen.

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The move against evangelical heresy following Crome's sermon helps to explain why Anne Askew was called before the Privy Council and burned for heresy in 1546, when the previous year she had been released by the Bishop of London after his own examination of her, despite her having clearly revealing her evangelical heresy to him at that time (Megan L. Hickerson, 'Negotiating Heresy in Tudor England: Anne Askew and the Bishop of London', Journal of British Studies 46 [2007], 774-95).

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Megan L. HickersonHenderson State University

preaching in þe Mercers Chappell, amōg other reasons and persuasions to reduce the people from the vayne opinion of Purgatory, inferred this, groundyng vpon the sayd Acte of Parlament: that if Trentals and Chauntry Masses could auayle the soules in Purgatory, then did the Parlament not well in giuyng away Monasteries, Colledges, and Chauntreis, whiche serued principally to that purpose. MarginaliaD. Cromes Dilemma agaynst priuate Masses.But if the Parlament did well (as no man could denye) in dissoluyng them, and bestowyng the same vppon the kyng, then is it a playne case, that such Chauntreis, and priuate Masses do nothyng conferre to releue them in Purgatorye. This dilemma of D. Crome, no doubt, was insoluble. But notwithstandyng, the charitable Prelates, for all þe kyngs late exhortatiō vnto charitie, were so charitable to hym, MarginaliaDoct. Crome driuen to recante.
An. 1545.
The charitie of the Byshops.
that on Easter next they brought him Coram nobis, where they so handled hym that they made hym to recante. And if he had not, they would haue dissolued hym and hys argument in burnyng fire, so burnyng hoate was their charitie, accordyng as they burned Anne Askew and her felowes, in the moneth of Iuly the yeare folowing. Whose tragicall story & cruel handlyng now consequently (the Lord willyng) you shall heare.

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¶ The first examination of Mistres Anne Askew 
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Little is known about Anne Askew (c. 1521-46) prior to her examination before a London Grand Jury (quest) in March, 1545. She was the daughter of a Lincolnshire knight, Sir William Askew (or Ayscough), and was married at a young age to another knight, Sir Thomas Kyme, apparently against her will. According to John Bale, the first editor of Askew's Examinations (John Bale, The Lattre Examinacyon of the worthye servaunt of God mastres Anne Askewe [Marburg, 1547]), Kyme had been previously betrothed to Askew's older sister, Martha, but she died before their wedding took place and Anne was offered as a substitute bride. Askew and Kyme had two children, but the couple became estranged due to her conversion to and proselytizing of the evangelical heresy and his subsequent decision to expel her from their marital home, seemingly in response to pressure from local priests whom she had antagonized (Bale, Lattre Examination [1547], 15r-v). After fruitlessly petitioning for a divorce in the ecclesiastical court in Lincoln, Askew travelled to London, where her sister Jane and brother Edward served at court. There she continued her unsuccessful pursuit of a divorce, this time in the Court of Chancery.

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In London, Askew came into contact with prominent evangelicals like Edward Crome, Nicholas Shaxton, Hugh Latimer, David Whitehead, and John Lascelles (with whom she was burned), and it seems she had some sort of contact with either Catherine Parr (Henry VIII's sixth queen) or some of the ladies of her court. It is also possible that she was in contact with the sometime Lollard executed for Anabaptism during Edward VI's reign, Joan Boucher (John Davis, 'Joan of Kent, Lollardy and the English Reformation', Journal of Ecclesiastical History 33 [1982], 231). She was arrested on suspicion of heresy in March 1545 (confirmed by the City of London Record Office Repertory 11, fol. 174v), but then released on bail without indictment after a preliminary hearing before a quest (Grand Jury) and a series of interrogations by the Lord Mayor of London and Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London. According to the Windsor Herald, Charles Wriothesley, she was arraigned in June of 1545, but this arrest and arraignment are not mentioned in the Examinations (Charles Wriothesley, A Chronicle of England during the Reigns of the Tudors: from AD 1485 to 1559, ed. William Douglas Hamilton, 2 vols [London, 1875], 1: 155-56). In June 1546, Askew was summoned before the king's Privy Council at Greenwich (Acts of the Privy Council of England, ed. John Roche Dasent, 46 vols (London, 1890), 1, p. 462), who condemned her under the Act of the Six Articles for denying the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine of the Sacrament of the Altar (article one in the Act of the Six Articles condemned any interpretation of the nature of the sacramental elements other than transubstantiation, and mandated death by burning for a first offense).

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Following her condemnation, Askew was illegally tortured in the Tower of London at the hands of two members of King Henry's Privy Council, in an apparent attempt by conservative members of the council to gain information to implicate, as supporters of evangelical reform, female members of Catherine Parr's circle, with whom Askew was thought to be acquainted. According to the description of her torture in the Examinations, Askew was asked, on the rack, about her connections to the Countesses of Suffolk and Hertford, and Ladies Denny and Fitzwilliam; she confessed that two men who had brought her money in prison had told her they were sent by Lady Denny and Lady Hertford, but would say nothing more than that. Crippled from the rack, Askew was burned at Smithfield in London on 16 July 1546, along with three male Protestants, including John Lascelles. Nicholas Shaxton, who had been arrested for his part in counseling Crome against recantation, and who had been arraigned with Askew in June, preached his sermon of recantation at her execution.

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The story of Anne Askew is told through two sets of documents, first published by John Bale (along with his own lengthy 'elucidation') as the First Examinacyon and the Lattre Examinacyon of… Mastres Anne Askewe (in 1546 and 1547 respectively). Following the appearance of these first editions of these two texts, the popularity of Askew's story soon led to a demand for more editions. The two Examinations subsequently appeared bound together in three further editions, once with Bale's commentary, in 1547, and twice without it, in 1548 and 1550. Foxe reproduced the Examinations (translated into Latin and without Bale's commentary) in his 1559 Rerum in Ecclesia Gestarum. Another English edition of the two texts, again omitting Bale's elucidation, was produced early in Queen Elizabeth's reign (1560), and the Examinations appear again, shaped by Foxe's editing, in the several editions of the English Acts and Monuments.

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The original authorship of these documents is a thorny question. Bale claims that the texts describing Askew's series of examinations, along with various letters and statements of faith included in the Lattre Examination, were written by the woman herself and smuggled out of her prison to him in his exile on the continent, where he received them from merchants (both Examinations were first published from Marburg). But even if this is so, there is no reason to think that anyone but Bale ever saw the original manuscripts used by him, and this includes John Foxe. It has been convincingly argued that Foxe's base text for his Askew account is the 1550 edition of Bale's Examinations (published by William Copland), with both First and Lattre accounts bound into one book without Bale's commentary (See Thomas F. Freeman and Sarah Elizabeth Wall, 'Racking the Body, Shaping the Text: The Account of Anne Askew in Foxe's Book of Martyrs', Renaissance Quarterly 54 [2001], 1165-96).

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Foxe's use of the Askew account has been neglected in modern scholarship in favor of Bale's editing of it, primarily because Bale so explicitly imposed much of his agenda on the account, by virtue of his elucidation. But recently, Foxe's shaping of the account has also come under scrutiny, most significantly by Freeman and Wall. Taking careful note of the fact that it is impossible to determine to what extent Bale wrote or edited the actual text of the Askew Examinations prior to publishing them - and no autographed manuscript has been found of any of the texts attributed to Askew - Freeman and Wall argue that both Bale and Foxe must be considered collaborators in the production of the Askew narrative. They were both its mediators and shapers.

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In this respect, Foxe's Examinations of Anne Askew tell the reader as much about his agenda as they do about her experiences. Again, the base text used by Foxe is a 1550 edition of the Examinations in which the two sets of examinations and other texts appear together, without Bale's commentary. But Foxe does not simply reproduce his base text: he makes stylistic and substantive alterations to it (Freeman and Wall, 1176), in the process altering both rhythm and emphases, with a skilled eye to dramatic effect. But Foxe's own editing of the Examinations also changes from edition to edition of his martyrology, first between the Latin Rerum (1559) and his first English edition of the Acts and Monuments (1563), and then, significantly, between first and second (1570) editions of the English work. Perhaps most significant in terms of Foxe's broad framing of the Askew account is the shift of his placement of her account between the first (1563) and second (1570) editions of the English Acts and Monuments, which Freeman and Wall suggest reflect his growing impatience with the progress of the Elizabethan religious reform (Freeman and Wall, 1186-89). Whereas in the 1563 edition of his work Foxe places the Askew account as merely one of a number of stories relevant to the last years of Henry VIII's reign - arranged with 'no apparent order…at all' (Freeman and Wall, 1186) - the 1570 edition sees the development of Askew's account as a 'keystone' for a number of related incidents, reflecting linked themes: resistance to reform by some of Henry VIII's councilors; the responsibility of the monarch to pursue reform regardless of opposition; and the 'disastrous consequences' if the monarch fails to do so, as had Henry (1188). Thus, Askew's story in the 1570 edition, which also sees expanded accounts of her torture and execution, stands as a reminder to Queen Elizabeth of her responsibility to pursue further religious reform - to complete the reformation she had begun - in a context in which it seemed increasingly unlikely that she would do so.

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Megan L. HickersonHenderson State University

, before the Inquisitours. an. 1545.

MarginaliaThe first examination of Anne Askew.TO satisfie your expectation, good people (sayth she) this was my first examination in the yeare of our Lord M.D.xlv. and in the moneth of March.

MarginaliaChristopher Dare Inquisitour.
The first article agaynst Anne Askew.
First, Christopher Dare examined me at Sadlers Hall, beyng one of the Quest 

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A 'quest' is a Grand Jury. The parliamentary act, De Haeretico Comburendo (1401), giving bishops the ability to condemn heretics on their own authority and turn them over to the secular power for burning, had been repealed in 1534 (25 Henry VIII, c. 14). But in 1544 (35 Henry VIII, c. 5) Parliament had further undermined ecclesiastical power (possibly in reaction to the harsh penal code attached to the Act of the Six Articles of 1539, which denied those falling foul of the first article on the Real Presence of the opportunity to recant), by requiring that bishops' proceedings against suspected heretics be preceded by Grand Jury indictment. For this reason Askew's imprisonment following her appearance before the Grand Jury (or 'quest') was technically illegal.

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Nevertheless, Common Law and Ecclesiastical courts were still in contention at the time of Askew's arrest over jurisdiction of heresy cases (see Paula McQuade, '"Except that they had offended the Lawe": Gender and Jurisprudence in the Examinations of Anne Askew', Literature & History 3 [1994], 4-6). Bonner, by continuing to hold and interrogate Askew following her appearance before the quest, showed a certain willingness to flout the letter of parliamentary law, but he could certainly have returned her to a second jury had he been so inclined.

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, and asked if I did not beleue that the Secrament hangyng ouer the aultar, was the very body of Christ really. Then I demaunded this question of hym: wherefore Sainte Steuen was stoned to death? and hee sayd, hee could not tell. Then I aunswered, that no more would I assoyle his vayne question.

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MarginaliaThe second Article.Secondly, hee sayd that there was a woman, which did testifie, that I should read, how God was not in Temples made with handes. Then I shewed him the vij. and the xvij. chap. of the Actes of the Apostles, what Steuen and Paul had sayd therein. Whereupon he asked me, how I tooke those sentences? I aunswered that I would not throw pearles among swine, for acornes were good enough 

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Askew's reference to St Stephen (Acts 7 and 17) - which she will repeat later under examination by Bonner - is a veiled criticism of the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ's body and blood in the bread and wine of the Sacrament of the Altar. Stephen was stoned to death in part for claiming that God would not be found in temples made with human hands, and Askew interprets this as precluding the possibility that a man (even a priest) could make any vessel or substance 'containing' God. In refusing to explain her position further (or 'throw pealres among swine'), she then draws on Matthew 7, both insulting her questioner but also showing her awareness of the danger she would be in if she answered directly to her belief regarding the Real Presence: according to Matthew 7, Christ teaches, 'Geve not that which is holy/ to doggs/ nether cast ye youre pearles before swyne/ lest they treade them under their fete/ and the other tourne agayne and all to rent you' (William Tyndale, The newe Testament [Antwerp, 1534], ix[v]).

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.

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MarginaliaThe thyrd Article.Thirdly, he asked me wherfore I said that I had rather to read fiue lynes in the Bible, then to heare fiue Masses in the Temple? I cōfessed, that I said no lesse: not for the dispraise of either the Epistle or Gospel, but bycause the one did greatly edifie me, and the other nothyng at all: As S Paul doth witnesse in the xiiij. chap. of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, where as hee sayth: Jf the trumpet geueth an vncertaine sounde, who will prepare hym selfe to the battaile? Marginalia1. Cor. 14.

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MarginaliaThe fourth Article.Fourthly, he layd vnto my charge, that I should say: If an ill Priest ministred, it was the deuill, & not God.

My aunswere was, that I neuer spake any such thyng. But this was my saying: that what soeuer hee were which ministred vnto me, his ill conditions could

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